living
by
design.

The Housing Crisis – Wouldn’t It Be Nice…

I haven’t been able to get this issue off my mind…

In fact, I think I’ve become a little bit obsessed with it… <img draggable=

It just keeps going over and over and over in my mind…

I sense the issue is most likely the same the world over…

Why do I care about this issue?

I have this innate sense that everyone should enjoy living in quality housing…

Irrespective of their age or station in life…

Irrespective of their socioeconomic circumstances…

That feels right to me…

Everything else feels wrong…

The UN appears to agree with me…

Imagine a world where there are no sub-standard houses, that is the world I live in, inside my head…

That’s the new normal for me…

And when I look around at what is out there I am both saddened, disgusted and driven more deeply and passionately to find an abiding solution, a sustainable, green and viable solution…

Wouldn’t It Be Nice…

If I had ‘all the money in the world’ (i.e. cash rich, debt free) then I would form a company which would buy land, then design and build funky and exciting residential housing communities in the right locations close to public transport, green areas, work locations, shopping facilities and leisure facilities and finally rent them out to people who wanted to live in them for whatever they could afford (i.e. the 30% max of gross household income rule) to free them from the need to take out mortgages and allow them to live their lives – not a charity or a hand out but something they can individually afford…

This company that I formed would property manage these facilities, keep the rents fixed for 5 year periods and allow people to stay for as long or as short as they wanted to, given that they were paying their rent, taking good care of their apartment, house or unit and giving adequate notice…

Obviously, doing things this way (and assuming this company was astute but fair in its land purchases and property density decisions) it would take around 15 to 17 years (i.e. a long term investment) for the company to get a return on its investment for each residential housing community but as it’s owner, I would be OK with this as ‘all the money in the world’ that I had invested in this company wouldn’t be needed by me to make a living for myself personally as my own ‘salary’ from the work I completed in this company and its sister design consultancy company would be enough for me…

After a while, the people’s lives who were living in this companies residential housing communities would begin to improve…

The surplus income they had would begin to be spent in other industries where other producers and suppliers would benefit from their increased spending, whether that be in necessities like food, beverages, and clothes or in travel and tourism or sport or providing a university education for their children to avoid them being noosed with a large student loan at the end of their studies…

This would benefit all who choose to be involved in this movement and the communities formed would truly bring comradeship and encouragement to those involved and release further innovation for further ideas which would benefit society…

When all who desire to be built up are built up it improves all our lives – there is a net benefit to society…

Reality

What would it take for this to become reality?

Really, at the end of the day, the vision is enough and at least one person who wholeheartedly lives the vision…

If that person is knocked down then another will stand up in their place…

That is the strength of an unshakeable vision…

A noble and unshakeable vision…

This vision recognizes that to make a change in society we must be counter-cultural in the sense that we are not populating the status quo…

Others may continue to populate the status quo and that’s OK but we will ‘stick to our knitting’ in the sense that we are committed to making a difference and achieving this (seemingly impossible) task throughout the world…

The Rub

I am not looking to others who actually do have ‘all the money in the world’ to achieve this on my behalf, I am instead believing in the strength of the vision that I will be enabled, step by step, to establish a beachhead and make this difference myself even if (in the extreme case) no one else goes with me…

I am happy to work with anyone (very happy) who shares this vision but I am not begging or pleading for anyone else to get involved – if you truly believe something then you believe that it is achievable, ‘no strings attached’ and that anyone who joins you, joins you freely of their own free will and at their own risk… <img draggable=

I do not have all the answers but I am investigating the problem and searching for solutions…

I will not rest until I find them…

I do not feel I have ever been more passionate or motivated about anything in my professional career to date (20 years and counting) than I feel about this issue, I genuinely believe this is my ‘day to seize’ (carpe diem) and although the issue seems overwhelming and insurmountable I genuinely believe this mountain will be conquered… <img draggable=

Andrew J Horton
13 September 2017

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